Greenlight reaches unicorn status as TTV co-leads $215 million fundraiser

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Atlanta-based fintech Greenlight has raised $215 million in a Series C round and announced that it has achieved a valuation of $1.2 billion, giving it unicorn status.

TTV Capital, along with Canapi Ventures, led the Series C round for Greenlight, a family-focused financial services and literacy platform. Other investors in the round included DST Global, BOND, Goodwater Capital, Fin VC as well as Greenlight’s first institutional investor, Relay Ventures. The funds from the Series C will be used to expand Greenlight’s mission of reaching more families and expanding its financial literacy campaign. The investment funds will also be spent on a completely redesigned mobile app and new investing tools made for children.

“Greenlight’s smart debit card is transforming the way parents teach their kids about responsible money management and financial literacy,” said Noah Knauf, general partner at BOND, in a press release. “Having achieved phenomenal growth year-over-year, this is a company on the fast-track to becoming a household name. We look forward to working alongside the Greenlight team to support their continued growth.”

Greenlight is a money-management platform that is specifically built for families. One of its key features includes a parent-managed debit card for children. This comes with companion apps that give parents the ability to pay allowances, manage children’s chores and set flexible, store-level spend controls. Additionally, the children gain financial literacy through lessons in earning, saving, spending and giving with a smart debit card and app designed just for them.

Greenlight launched its smart debit card for kids in 2017 and now serves more than 2 million parents and their children. In its efforts to teach financial literacy and responsible financial habits, Greenlight kids have collectively saved more than $50 million. Greenlight offers a one-month free trial for the program. After that it costs $4.99 per month for an entire family, including debit cards for up to five children.

"Greenlight’s rapid growth is a testament to the value they bring to millions of parents and kids every day,” said Gardiner Garrard, founding partner at TTV Capital, in the release. “My wife and I trust Greenlight to give us the modern tools to teach our children how to manage money. TTV Capital is thrilled to provide continued investment to help the company empower more parents."

In recent years several fintechs, banks and even Amazon have been building programs specifically designed to help parents teach financial literacy and smart spending habits. In 2017 Amazon launched its Amazon for Teens account designed for youths from 13 to 17 and includes an option to permit purchases under a pre-set spending limit. Challenger bank Current launched a teen-oriented card, despite the market having seen the disappearance of many players over the years.

This youth payment card segment is designed to help instill a savings mindset among children, provide an avenue for parents to give allowances, monitor their children’s chores as well as put safety guard rails through spend controls on a smart debit card.

It’s also designed to onboard children to the world of digital payments and cards, while reducing their reliance on cash to make purchases, particularly in the COVID-19 era. It’s also designed to onboard parents in changing habits from paying children’s allowances in cash to sending money directly to a digital payment account. According to a 2019 survey of 1,000 teens, conducted jointly by Junior Achievement and Alliance Data Systems, 80% of teens receive money from their parents or guardians in the form of cash and 75% of teens make purchases with cash.

According to Crunchbase, a website that tracks investments in private companies, Greenlight has raised almost $300 million in four funding rounds since 2017 and has 21 investors. Its seed round was held in 2017, followed by a Series A in 2018 and a Series B in 2019.

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